Match of the week
Paul A Young Shropshire Blue and walnut chocolate truffles with Taylor’s First Estate Reserve port
Port and stilton is one of the classic wine pairings but does it work if you pair a port with a blue cheese chocolate?
The chocolate was a seasonal addition to the Paul A Young range - a gorgeous gooey Shropshire Blue, walnut and cider (I think*) truffle with the flavour of the cheese just coming through at the end. (Too often the chocolate gets lost in the cheese.)
And the port? A bit of a surprise. I’d thought a younger port might be too spiritty but the ripe berry flavours of the Taylor’s Reserve (widely available at around £12) were exactly right with the truffle - and with a beautifully crafted dark Venezuelan* chocolate bar which wore its 82%* cocoa solids incredibly lightly. Ruby port and dark chocolate is, of course, a winner too.
Two other matches stood out in the tasting: the Gonzalez Byass Solera 1847 sherry with very dry, intense cocoa nibs which brought out delicious candied fruit flavours in the wine and a lovely, apricotty Vistamar Late Harvest Moscatel from Chile (the bargain of the evening at £4.99 currently from Majestic) with the plain truffle bar.
Three wines I expected to shine didn’t do quite as well - Waitrose’s Seriously Plummy Maury which was a bit overwhelmed by the truffles, a Rutherglen Muscat (too sweet - would have been better with a pecan pie) and a Blandy’s madeira (nice but not as impressive as the sherry). The salted caramels defeated everything we threw at them. I think they needed an armagnac or cognac.
Incidentally if you want to have a crack at making a slightly simpler version of Paul’s truffles there’s a recipe here.
* There is a certain vagueness about this post. Due to extreme over-excitement about the chocolates and being pre-occupied with serving the drinks I forgot to take notes!
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